Burundi Case Study: Addressing the Drivers of Ethnic Conflict within the Model of Financial Services Delivery
This case study highlights an MFI in Burundi that integrates conflict resolution training within its institutional development and community bank lending methodology. It addresses community level drivers of conflict, while building systems and an institution that strives to improve ethnic relations. Since Burundi's independence from Belgium in 1962, hostilities between ethnic communities have dominated the country's politics and hindered progress. While the country now appears to be on a tentative path towards peace and stability, it needs to contend with the challenge of resuscitating its economy and agricultural base. Turame, an MFI, was established by World Relief in 2004. It conducts conflict resolution training for its staff and clients. Interviews with staff indicate that the training has had considerable impact on the organization's day to day operations. Interviews with community groups have also revealed training benefits. Clients and staff state that they have learnt the importance of reconciliation, empathy and working in a group. Finally, although investing in conflict resolution training is beneficial to the overall organization, there is a tradeoff between training and the institutions sustainability.